The Conscious Rhythm of Her Dream: A Puerto Rican Eulogy

RM TNKRT

Phenomenology is at the core of this project. It was described by Edmund Husserl as a bold and newly radical way of doing philosophy. Adopting Husserl’s ideology, this performance is “an attempt to bring philosophy back from abstract metaphysical speculation wrapped up in pseudo-problems, in order to come into contact with the matters themselves, with concrete living experience”.1 The framework for this piece was to try and remember a song I wrote when I was 16, straight from memory, and recompose it live, improvised, without script. I counted a “clave” beat in my mind, and uttered it in the beginning, to set a rhythm, and used that mental grounding beat to play the notes as they came to mind. This performance evoked a desire to remember something I once knew; an attempt to honor something that had been dead a while. 

I began to research rhythm and took a polyrhythmic course to better understand its structure. In that class I adopted elements into my performance that spanned beyond rhythm by incorporating accents that add to dynamic stress and can reinforce or counteract metric structure. Considering that Metric Music was created by Western European ideologies, I chose to keep the rhythm at bay as a means of pushing back on conventions; to free the spirit with a grounding “Clave” found in Caribbean music. By performing this on the piano, in barely visible light, the act of playing what one remembers, aesthetically becomes quite like the tone of a eulogy.